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Truth To Power

the strong do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must

Archive for May, 2007

I got sunshine, in a bag

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Oh yes

gorillaz

Why are we selling nukes to China?

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

China, nuclear technology, and a US sale

China has its heart set on buying a cutting-edge US design for a nuclear-power reactor, and the Bush administration has said it is willing to sell because the transaction will mean jobs for Americans and pave the way for a “nuclear [power] renaissance in the US.”

But critics of the mammoth $5 billion-plus sale are raising concerns that China might not use the advanced technology strictly for peaceful purposes, perhaps intending to “reverse engineer” pieces of it for military purposes.

That worry surfaced this month in a letter four members of Congress sent to Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The May 18 letter asked whether the sale of four nuclear-power reactors to China, approved by the administration in December, could end up enhancing Beijing’s military, including its ability to produce nuclear fuel for bombs and increase the stealthiness of its submarines.

Gee, ya think selling nuclear technology to our biggest rival might not be prudent? Concept seems to be lost on our “bidness” president. Wonder which of his corporate welfare taxpayer teat sucking swine buddies is making mucho bucko on this deal?

Cheney vs. rule of law, law loses (again)

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Lawyer: Cheney Visitor Logs Not Recorded

WASHINGTON — A lawyer for Vice President Dick Cheney told the Secret Service in September to eliminate data on who visited Cheney at his official residence, a newly disclosed letter states.

The Sept. 13, 2006, letter from Cheney’s lawyer says logs for Cheney’s residence on the grounds of the Naval Observatory are subject to the Presidential Records Act.

The Justice Department filed the letter Friday in a lawsuit by a private group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, seeking the identities of conservative religious leaders who visited Cheney at his official residence.

The newly disclosed letter about visitors to Cheney’s residence is accompanied by an 18-page Secret Service document revealing the agency’s long-standing practice has been to destroy printed daily access lists of visitors to the residence.

Yo, Dick…and I do mean DICK…when you plopped your cloven hoof upon the Bible and swore an oath to defend the constitution, did ya have your fingers crossed or something?

Imagine if we were actually at war

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Imagine it, because what we’re doing in Iraq obviously isn’t a war, or our “president” would be treating it as such:

CBS Exposes Bush Admin’s ‘Outrageous Delay’ In Providing Marines With Bomb-Resistant Vehicle

While President Bush has been busy politically demagoging funding for the troops, CBS Evening News highlighted a disturbing report tonight that the administration waited over a year before acting on a “priority 1 urgent” request to send blast-resistant vehicles to Iraq, the so-called Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles.

Calling it “an outrageous delay,” CBS noted, “The Marines in the field asked for 1,200 MRAPs in February 2005 — but so far, they’ve received less than 100.” The report also noted that the problem is widespread and systemic:

A Marine Corps document obtained by the Associated Press says that of 100 requests for critical gear sent in last year, less than 10 have been filled. It blames red tape and the failure of bureaucrats to take risks.

“Unnecessary delays cause … deaths and injuries,” the document says — and nowhere is it more true than with MRAP.

Whatever we’re doing over there- stealing oil, creating a permanent base in the Middle East, keeping King George in power just long enough to escape to Paraguay, whatever- it ain’t a war. Because if it was, and if we had a real “leader” instead of a theocratic hypocrite heading the nation, things would get done that need doing.

Of course, if we had a real president, we wouldn’t be over there to start with.

“…being a rock and roll star is one of the last things you’d ever want to do”

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

So says filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, speaking of the not really ever released Rolling Stones 1972 tour saga “Cocksucker Blues“. Watched it again last night, and breaking up the tedious footage of drugs, groupies and stoned guitar players are moments of riveting intensity with the band onstage.

From a pounding “Brown Sugar” to a medley with Stevie Wonder of his “Uptight” into “Satisfaction”, the ’72 Stones remain the archetype of a rock and roll band, for good or ill. Watching a black-toothed Keith Richards stumble about from hotel room to dressing room grows tiring within minutes, but toss a guitar on his back, and lead him and Mick Taylor onto a stage, and magic happens.

Essential.

National guitar

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

national

Borrowed LH’s camera while she wasn’t lookin’…

Way to go, Laura Mallory

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Really, I salute you, Laura Mallory.

Next installment of mom vs. Potter set for Gwinnett court

Laura Mallory and Harry Potter are to meet in court on Tuesday.

Mallory, whose children attend school in Gwinnett, wants the popular series of books about the fictional boy wizard exorcised from Gwinnett County’s public school libraries.

Laura Mallory took her Harry Potter challenge from the school level in Gwinnett to the state Board of Education late last year.

Mallory is scheduled to appear in Gwinnett Superior Court Tuesday morning to argue the “Potter” stories are harmful and promote witchcraft and the occult to young people. Supporters of the “Potter” books say they encourage children to read and should be available to all students.

Since she launched her anti-Potter crusade in 2005, Mallory has taken her case to administrators at the Loganville elementary school her children attend; to a school appeals committee; to the Gwinnett County Board of Education; and to the Georgia Board of Education. She’s lost at each level.
You might think I’m deriding Mrs. Mallory by posting this. Perish the thought. Not enough people in this country hold beliefs strongly enough to keep fighting for them, despite being rebuffed at each turn:

• April 20, 2006: The Gwinnett County School Board holds a public hearing on the issue; a hearing officer supports the recommendation to keep the books available.• May 11, 2006: Gwinnett School Board votes unanimously to keep the popular book series in school libraries.

• June 2006: Mallory appeals the school board’s decision to the state Board of Education.

• Oct. 3, 2006: State Board of Education hearing officer hears arguments in the appeal.

• Dec. 14, 2006: State Board of Education upholds the Gwinnett school system’s procedure for keeping “Harry Potter” books on the shelves of school libraries.

• Jan. 17, 2007: Laura Mallory requests an appeal of her case to Gwinnett Superior Court.

She hasn’t read the books, she admits, rather, she’s responding to warnings and information she got from fundamentalist Christian sites on the internet. One assumes she has forbidden her children from reading the books, but she feels that her own judgment is somehow better than those of her community, who have repeatedly said that the books should remain on the shelves, not believing her rhetoric that we’re “raising a generation of witches”.

Dear Mrs. Mallory, I truly salute your desire to protect your children from influences you don’t believe in, that you feel could harm your children. That is your role as a parent- one that more parents should emulate.

However, as a citizen, you are a member of a larger family in which ALL the members get to vote- not just you. So now, you’re simply just wasting my money continuing to fight something that you will not win. If you don’t want to live in a county where Harry Potter books are on taxpayer-supported book shelves, then by all means move. Otherwise, learn the rules.

There are a lot of things I don’t like paying for, that I feel have a negative influence on myself and my family. They include optional wars, corporate welfare, and insipid “faith based” bullshit being forced down the throats of people who have sense enough to reject it on a personal level, but who are forced to pay for it anyway.

So I guess, in closing, Mallory? Shut up, and pay back Gwinnett county for the expense you’ve already cost the taxpayers with your nuisance meetings and lawsuits.

Now the feds can ruin the net too

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

The taxman cometh back

The era of tax-free e-mail, Internet shopping and broadband connections could end this fall, if recent proposals in the U.S. Congress prove successful. State and local governments this week resumed a push to lobby Congress for far-reaching changes on two different fronts: gaining the ability to impose sales taxes on Net shopping, and being able to levy new monthly taxes on DSL and other Internet-service connections. One senator is even predicting taxes on e-mail.

Pro-tax advocates this week advanced a flurry of proposals pushing in that direction. A bill was introduced that would usher in mandatory sales tax collection for Internet purchases. Then, during a House of Representatives hearing the same day, politicians weighed whether to let a temporary ban on Net access taxes lapse when it expires on November 1. A House backer of another pro-sales tax bill said to expect a final version by July.

The response to the moves in CNET News.com’s TalkBack forum was overwhelmingly negative, mostly along antitax convictions. However, some readers took a bigger-picture approach to the situation.

“Half the reason the Internet has become so successful is because the government has had little involvement.”
— CNET News.com reader

Indeed.

If this is what we get for electing democrats- an endless war and now, f’n up the net- then we need to add “None of the above” to our ballots, because this just bites.

Again, kudos to Kucinich

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

Kucinich Will Expose Iraqi “Hydrocarbon Act” Privatization In House Floor Speech

WASHINGTON – MAY 23 – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) will invoke a rarely used House procedure today to discuss the privatization of Iraqi oil on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Kucinich plans to invoke a point of personal privilege under House Rule IX to respond to published remarks regarding efforts he has made to inform the House Democratic Caucus of the details of the Iraqi Hydrocarbon Act.

Kucinich will have one hour of time on the House floor in which he plans to explain why Congress’ insistence on benchmarks in the supplemental, which includes passage of the Iraqi hydrocarbon act, demands that Iraqis privatize their oil.

Interesting to note that the most intelligent thoughts on Iraq are coming from politicians rarely heard of, Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. While the big names cower in fear of looking “weak”, these men in power speak the truth. It’s a sad testament to how deep down the rabbit hole King George and his merry band of treasonous henchmen have drug us, that a congressman has to use extraordinary procedures in Congress to state, for the record, that his colleagues are stealing Iraqi oil.

Now thats just f’d up.

The strange case of Kurt Sonnenfeld

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

Claims of 9/11 conspiracy have suspect running scared

A former Federal Emergency Management Agency videographer accused of killing his wife in Denver is seeking political asylum in Argentina, claiming the U.S. government wants him silenced for what he saw in the smoldering ruins of the Twin Towers after 9/11.

In other interviews with Argentine media, Sonnenfeld is quoted as saying, “What I saw (at 9/11) leads me to the terrible conclusion that there was foreknowledge of what was going to happen – the precautions that were taken to save certain things that the authorities there considered irreplaceable or invaluable.

“For example, certain things were missing that could only have been removed with a truck. Yet after the first plane hit one of the towers, everything in Manhattan collapsed and no one could have gotten near the towers to do that.”

Sonnenfeld is quoted as saying documentation was removed from U.S. intelligence agencies in the World Trade Center, including the CIA, prior to the attacks. He did not specify how he could have known that.